Alternative Cities and Towns Worth Visiting in Italy

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Italy’s captivating beauty and historical riches are known worldwide, but this beautiful country holds lesser-known hidden gems waiting to be discovered.

Cities like Rome, Venice, and Florence host millions of visitors each year. However, Italy has much more to offer beyond these famous cities. Across the country, there are fascinating and wonderful places waiting to be explored.

Some of the less-known places compared to the famous ones are:

01. Civita di Bagnoregio

Located in the Lazio region of Italy, south of Rome, this ancient town is also known as the “Dying Town” due to its position on a volcanic plateau eroding year by year. It was founded by the Etruscans approximately 2500 years ago and became an important trading center during the Middle Ages. However, erosion in the region began causing the town’s base to collapse, isolating it from the outside world.

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Reasons to visit Civita di Bagnoregio

A unique historical and cultural experience: Civita di Bagnoregio offers visitors a unique historical and cultural experience with its narrow streets, ancient churches, and houses dating back to the Middle Ages.

A natural wonder: The erosion in Civita di Bagnoregio has created a unique natural landscape. The village appears to be perched on the edge of a cliff in the middle of a valley.

A veil of mystery: Civita di Bagnoregio is known as the “Dying Town” because of the ongoing erosion causing the town to disappear day by day. This adds an air of mystery to the village.

What to do in Civita di Bagnoregio

Stroll through the village’s narrow streets: Civita di Bagnoregio provides a pleasant walking experience with its narrow streets and historic buildings.

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Visit the historical structures of the village: The village boasts historical structures like the San Donato Church, Cappella della Madonna del Carcere, and Museo Geologico e delle Frane.

Admire the village’s breathtaking views: Situated in the middle of a valley, Civita di Bagnoregio offers a unique view of the valley and surrounding mountains.

How to get to Civita di Bagnoregio

Civita di Bagnoregio is located in the Lazio region of Italy, about 120 km away from Rome. The easiest way to reach the village is by taking a bus or train to the town of Bagnoregio, from which you can reach the village via a pedestrian bridge.

When to visit Civita di Bagnoregio

Civita di Bagnoregio can be visited year-round, but the village’s views are most beautiful in the spring and summer months.

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Accommodation in Civita di Bagnoregio

Civita di Bagnoregio has only a few small guesthouses and hotels, so it’s advisable to make reservations for accommodation.

Dining in Civita di Bagnoregio

There are several restaurants in Civita di Bagnoregio offering traditional Italian dishes. You can also taste local wines in the village.

02. Tropea

Tropea, Italy: The Pearl of Calabria: This picturesque town is located in the Calabria region of Italy, along the coast of the Adriatic Sea. Tropea is famous for its white sandy beaches, turquoise waters, and medieval architecture.

Reasons to visit Tropea

Historical and cultural richness: Tropea, founded by the Greeks in the 7th century BC, boasts ancient ruins from the Roman era, churches, and palaces from the Middle Ages.

Natural beauty: Tropea is perched on the Tyrrhenian Sea coast, offering breathtaking views. The town features the Tropea Cliff in its center, providing a spectacular panorama of the sea and surrounding villages.

Delicious cuisine: Tropea is known for its delicious cuisine. In addition to traditional Italian dishes, you can find local Calabrian specialties in the town.

What to do in Tropea

Visit Tropea Cliff: Tropea Cliff is one of the iconic symbols of the town. From the top of the cliff, you can enjoy the magnificent view of the sea and the surrounding villages.

Explore the historical and cultural sites of Tropea: The town features ancient ruins, churches, and palaces dating back to Roman and medieval times.

Enjoy the beach in Tropea: Tropea boasts stunning beaches along the Tyrrhenian Sea coast, offering activities like swimming, sunbathing, and water sports.

Taste Tropea’s delicious cuisine: In Tropea, you can savor traditional Italian dishes and regional specialties, including fresh seafood and vegetables.

How to get to Tropea

Tropea is located in the Calabria region in southern Italy, about 100 km away from the capital, Catanzaro.

The easiest way to reach the town is by flying to Catanzaro or Lamezia Terme airports and then taking a bus or taxi to the town.

When to visit Tropea

Tropea can be visited year-round, but it can get quite crowded during the summer months.

Accommodation in Tropea

Tropea offers accommodation options for every budget, including hotels, guesthouses, rental apartments, and villas.

Dining in Tropea

There are many restaurants in Tropea serving traditional Italian dishes. You can also taste local wines in the town.

03. Orvieto

This medieval city in the Umbria region is perched on a rocky hill, known for its breathtaking views, historical buildings, and delicious cuisine.

Reasons to visit Orvieto

Historical and cultural richness: Orvieto, founded by the Etruscans around 7th century BC, features ancient ruins from Roman times, churches, and palaces from the Middle Ages.

Natural beauty: Orvieto is built atop a cliff over the Tiber River, providing stunning panoramic views.

Delicious cuisine: Orvieto is renowned for its delicious cuisine, featuring traditional Italian dishes as well as specialties from the Umbria region.

What to do in Orvieto

Visit Orvieto Cathedral: Orvieto Cathedral is one of the town’s iconic symbols. Built in the 13th century, it is an outstanding example of Gothic architecture.

Stroll through Duomo Square: Duomo Square is one of Orvieto’s most important squares, surrounded by the cathedral, town hall, and other historical buildings.

Explore the narrow streets of Orvieto: Orvieto offers a pleasant walking experience with its narrow streets and historic buildings.

Admire Orvieto’s breathtaking views: The city is built on a cliff above the Tiber River, providing a stunning view of the valley and surrounding mountains.

How to get to Orvieto

Orvieto is located in the Umbria region in central Italy, approximately 120 km from Rome.

The easiest way to reach the city is by taking a bus or train from Rome to Orvieto, which takes about 2 hours.

When to visit Orvieto

Orvieto can be visited year-round, but it can get quite crowded during the spring and summer months.

Accommodation in Orvieto

Orviet

o offers accommodation options for every budget, including hotels, guesthouses, rental apartments, and villas.

Dining in Orvieto

There are many restaurants in Orvieto serving traditional Italian dishes. You can also taste Umbrian specialties in the town.

Orvieto is one of the major tourist destinations in the Umbria region, welcoming millions of visitors each year. It is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

04. Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre, located in the Liguria region of northwest Italy, consists of five fishing villages perched on steep cliffs and connected by narrow footpaths. The villages, namely Manarola, Riomaggiore, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso al Mare, offer visitors an unforgettable experience with their unique natural beauty, colorful buildings, and rich history.

Reasons to visit Cinque Terre

Unique natural beauty: Cinque Terre, with its fishing villages perched on steep cliffs, offers unparalleled natural beauty. The rivers flowing between the villages, lush forests, and azure sea are enchanting.

Colorful buildings: The villages of Cinque Terre are famous for their colorful buildings. Manarola’s red, Riomaggiore’s yellow, and Vernazza’s green buildings give the villages a unique look.

Historical: Cinque Terre is a historical area. The villages feature churches, palaces, and other historical structures dating back to the Middle Ages.

What to do in Cinque Terre

Hike: The best way to explore Cinque Terre is by hiking. You can discover the region’s unique beauty by walking on the paths that stretch between the villages.

Relax by the sea: Cinque Terre has magnificent beaches. You can swim, sunbathe, and enjoy water sports in the surrounding beaches.

Taste local cuisine: Cinque Terre is renowned for its delicious cuisine. In addition to traditional Italian dishes, you can find fresh seafood and vegetables specific to the region.

How to get to Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre is located in the Liguria region of northwest Italy, about 30 km from the city of La Spezia.

The easiest way to reach the area is by taking a train to La Spezia train station and then reaching the villages by train or ferry.

When to visit Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre can be visited year-round, but it can get quite crowded during the summer months.

Accommodation in Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre offers accommodation options for every budget, including hotels, guesthouses, rental apartments, and villas.

Dining in Cinque Terre

There are many restaurants in Cinque Terre serving traditional Italian dishes. You can also taste local wines in the region.

05. Matera

Matera, Italy: The Rocky City

Matera is a city located in the Basilicata region of southern Italy. The city is built in the rocky cliffs known as Sassi di Matera. Matera offers a unique historical, cultural, and natural experience.

Reasons to visit Matera

A unique historical experience: Matera has a history that spans 10,000 years. The city has been inhabited since the Paleolithic era, and it boasts caves from that era, Roman ruins, and churches and palaces from the Middle Ages.

Natural wonder: Matera is known for the rocky cliffs of Sassi di Matera, providing a unique natural beauty. The cliffs give the city a distinctive appearance.

A veil of mystery: Matera is also known as the “Rocky City.” The rocky cliffs add an air of mystery to the city.

What to do in Matera

Explore Sassi di Matera: Sassi di Matera is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the rocky cliffs of the city, you can find caves, churches, palaces, and other historical structures.

Appreciate Matera’s natural beauty: Matera’s surroundings offer hiking trails to explore the natural beauty of the region.

Discover Matera’s history and culture: Matera has a history that spans 10,000 years, with caves from the Paleolithic era, Roman ruins, and churches and palaces from the Middle Ages.

How to get to Matera

Matera is located in the Basilicata region in southern Italy, approximately 150 km from Bari.

The easiest way to reach the city is by taking a bus or train from Bari to Matera, which takes about 3 hours.

When to visit Matera

Matera can be visited year-round, but it can get quite crowded during the spring and summer months.

Accommodation in Matera

Matera offers accommodation options for every budget, including hotels, guesthouses, rental apartments, and villas.

Dining in Matera

Matera is renowned for its delicious cuisine. In addition to traditional Italian dishes, you can find specialties specific to the Basilicata region.

These hidden gems in Italy offer unique experiences, from exploring ancient caves to relaxing on picturesque beaches and indulging in delicious local cuisine. Make sure to plan your visit to discover these lesser-known treasures in the beautiful country of Italy.

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